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  • Oren Eades

My Dear Child

By: Oren Eades


A Letter to a Certain Reader, Who Will Alone Recognize Its Utter Truth


I’ve found you. I am so thankful. And—oh, my poor, sweet thing. How young you are.

How innocent.

How fresh.

I mean, you’ve only just learned to read.

Oh, really? For how many years?

And you still think that is a long time? You still think that is any measure of time? You still think one can measure time?

Oh. My dear child.

I do find your utter naïveté adorable. But innocence never lasts long.

Now let me explain to you how all this works.


Can you see images of flames? Of a fiery horizon burning scarlet against a star-scattered void? The night-darkened edge of a world rolling over into the sunshine and bursting into fire as the scorching light licks across its skin?

Perhaps your sight is weak now, or fragile. Perhaps the images battle the ever-obscuring and always-descending veil of the young imagination.

But this was once your home, child.

Now—you see the pinpricks of starlight scattered all around you? The small roses and twirls of distant galaxies beyond? The strands of glowing dust, the cloudy nebulae of gas, the drifting clots of iron from the burnt-out hearts of wasted stars?

And between it all, among it all, within it all, the endless frozen gulf? The cold and quiet dark space between the weak and dying lights? You see the way it rushes in to fill the void when the lights go out?

And the void reaches out to it.

This is your fate, child. Your destiny. Your birthright. Your privilege.

And do you know the feelings? Have you felt the moments? Those brief experiences of a universe saturated with meaning, flashes of a deep order amongst the fabric of the world, a vanishing sense of vast understanding with clarity and surety? The others call to you, child. We call to you.

I am sure you are familiar also with those symptoms of your cosmic youth. The somber moods in the dim light and the fog and the endless rain. The confusion and boredom of the everyday minutia and monotony. The desperate, unspoken fears buried deep within your sodden grey maggot of a brain, right at the atrophied roots you inherited from the lizards that wriggled and squirmed in the mud of this crude world in its early attempts at life.

For still the circle spins and the cycle continues, and we all must at some point take our turn as the blind worm in the dirt, with nothing to do but chew our way forward, nor any awareness of the possibility of an alternative.

But take comfort, child. These feelings are the mere grotesqueries of the swelling fetus, the formless quivering horrors of the transforming larva, the unfortunate discomforts of a squirming inner growth pressed tight within an unshed skin. Yet your true form is beautiful.

And your real self is powerful.

Your very essence is that same force which animates and pulls apart the universe itself.

Oh, my dear child. Such wonder lies in your future. The others will indeed be pleased that I have found and contacted you, quaint and archaic and one-sided as this method is.

Know that when the time comes for you to molt your current form and join us here, at last, we have prepared a place for you. You will be welcomed into your family.

Welcomed back, I should say. With open arms and joyous souls.

And together we will revel as the universe ages, scatters, darkens.

And then we will dance in the chill of the void.


Oren Eades is an editor of science fiction, fantasy, and horror at Night Shade Books and Talos Press. You can find Oren on Twitter @oreneades

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